More recently, we've been buying a whole lot more carrots than usual - from baby carrots, to "adult" carrots to already sliced ready-to-eat carrots. It's totally become our go to snack at home, and helps with those midnight cravings.
I've always always loved carrots. As a child, and I'd pick out the green peas in my Nigerian fried rice, but actually look forward to chewing on the carrots. For some reason though, it annoyed me when the skin of the carrots wasn't properly cleaned before it was diced, and so it had a grey layer over it. This was probably as result of my mum - who scrapped every carrot before eating it. Unlike her sister who saw that as a waste of time and simply rinsed the carrot & chewed happily.I must admit more recently, it had become a hassle to peel the carrot. Tee laughs at my back sliding - like my mum's elder sister, he never saw the point in scraping carrots.
Not sure why I'm going on about carrots, when this post is really about vegetables & greens! Oh I know. It's because Tee now actually eats a lot of carrot & insists we always have them at home. He's also coming around to eating more veggies, thanks to the tips below.
We know the immense benefits of veggies and how it is recommended that we eat a lot more greens! I remember asking someone recently if carrots qualified as "greens". I needed to be sure that I wasn't eating up all that carrots and yet it wouldn't qualify.
But it's one thing to know theoretically, it's another to actually do it. And if we're being honest, most veggies aren't the easiest thing to eat. I mean, why can't they just taste like a double cheese burger with extra bacon?
Okay enough of the chatter. Here are the helpful ways to actually eating & loving more veggies.
1. Find your base vegetable
There has to be that one vegetable that you absolutely love. Just one. Found it? Yes. That's your base vegetable. The one you probably don't even think of as a vegetable. For some people, it's tomato. But I'll probably never understand how people bite into a whole tomato or bell peppers & chew happily. Oh well. After all my carrot chat, you've probably figured that carrot is our joint base vegetable. In addition to this, I personally love cucumber as well, and cabbage too. But I think it's helpful if your base veg is really easy to find and doesn't require much prep or cooking. That way you're likely to eat more of it. I finally tried broccoli on our Dubai vacation. Goodness. Not sure how much I'll have to be paid to make that my base vegetable.
2. Prepare them differently
The appearance of food matters! Isn't that the reason there's a whole lot of perfect food photos on Instagram? (And partly the reason fine dining restaurants are still in business.) So if you're eating your veggies the same way all the time - it's bound to get boring. This could be something as easy as the method of slicing. Sometimes I dice up my carrots. Other times they're round or julienned or grated. Personally when I prepare grated carrots, I'm able to mix it into a lot of Jollof rice. As they're both orange in colour, it actually helps me eat little rice, more carrots. Most recently I've been looking to buy a spiraliser which helps to produce fun spirals of veggies. I'm also switching to the purple cabbage because it has such rich colour that's pretty to look at. Asides, appearance, taste is key. Day by day, I stumble on interesting recipes that include so much veggies and still taste good. At the moment I'm loving throwing in some spinach into my omelettes.
3. Drink them up
This is a good one. I may not eat broccoli in it's natural state, but I would definitely have it in a perfect blend of green smoothie - where some bananas or pineapple have diluted the rather bland taste. Smoothies I believe where originally created to help us eat more veggies. And there should ideally be a good amount of vegetables in your smoothie. So if you're only tossing up sweet fruits and blending them up - that's good, but chances are you could eat a bowl of watermelon or strawberries on its own. So toss in some pumpkin leaves, broccoli, kale, spinach, celery, and all those veggies you wouldn't normally eat.
4. Buy frozen (already mixed) veggies
This one right here is definitely a win and has worked for me in the past couple of months. From already sliced bag of bell peppers to a carrot-sweet corn-green peas veggie mix or frozen spinach, I find it really easy throwing in more veggies into my food.
5. Eat with a three part plate
For starters, this may help. With a three part plate, you know that one section is for carbs, one for proteins & the largest for veggies! If you often have this section of your plate empty, it should send warning bells that you're not eating enough greens. Once you've then become a pro at it, you can ditch the portion plates, knowing you need no reminders to eat your greens. I personally have a three part plate which I use to meal prep my work lunches. And seeing an empty rather large section does the magic and many times, I think of what veggies to include.
6. Try home-made dressings
Some people are unable to have a salad without a good dollop of mayonnaise or some sort of dressing. I personally don't mind. But if you do, rather than having the same old kind of store-bought dressing all the time - which gives your salad the same taste, you could try making your own salad dressing. First, you're able to determine how you want it, and secondly simply making yours, could inspire you to eat more.
7. Just do it!
If at the end of all of these, you still can't eat more veggies, I'm sorry but you just have to! Suck it up. They're good for you and you know this. So just do it! Lol.
Are you a veggie lover or nah? What's your base vegetable and which one is more like 'bleh'?